Let’s discuss a common question within Chiropractic; do adjustments hurt?

When properly facilitated, chiropractic adjustments should not hurt. But, with that being said, the answer that is most philosophically sound is: it depends.

The reaction to the facilitation of the chiropractic adjustment depends upon the person receiving the adjustment as well as how the adjustment is being facilitated. 

There are so many techniques within the profession, it would be difficult to discuss every method of force that the chiropractor could utilize for facilitating the adjustment. For this reason, let’s focus on the person receiving the adjustment.

With everything in life there is potential risk, and there is a small chance that how you respond to the force being delivered to facilitate the adjustment of vertebral subluxation could result with an adjustment reaction. But, that risk is so minimal that I’d like to focus this discussion on how the majority of people respond to the chiropractic adjustment. 

The majority of the time, the universal force being delivered to facilitate the adjustment creates a positive response. This response results in adaptation by the innate intelligence of the body, becoming an innate force, and correcting a vertebral subluxation. In this positive process, the universal force is neutralized and causes no harm.

Chiropractic adjustments may feel uncomfortable prior to and during the process of the adjustment. In most cases, this uncomfortable feeling prior to and during the adjustment process is not due to the Chiropractor, but rather, is due to the reason the adjustment is being facilitated and you being at the Chiropractor’s office in the first place. 

The reason the adjustment is taking place is because when two or more bones slightly misalign and interfere with the surrounding neurological tissue, pressure or dysfunctional mobility can build up within the misaligned spinal joint. This provides a perfect opportunity for the transformation from negative to positive to feel uncomfortable.

By definition, adjustment is “an alteration or movement made towards a desired potential or result for the process of adapting or becoming more used to a new situation.” There are lots of positive words within the definition of adjustment, but the one that aligns so well with Chiropractic is “adaptation.” 

Physiological adaptation within your body is when your cells, tissues and organs are responding to external stimuli or stress in order to become more acclimated to a new situation or to bring your overall state back to a better balance. 

Adapting to the environment is a goal we should all have for our well-being, but when we are conscientious of how we are adapting to our environment, sometimes we become aware of our lack of adaptation, and that doesn’t always feel great.

Spinal bones are designed to protect the nerves, but if spinal integrity is less than optimal, neurological interference can result and create negative stress on the body’s recuperative power to adapt to external stimuli. 

The chiropractic adjustment is positive in nature because spinal joints can influence the innate recuperative power of the body to function in its optimal state when your spinal integrity’s current condition is moved towards a higher potential.

After initial compression or force has been applied to the subluxation, the most common result experienced is decreased tension, relief in pressure, and overall ease. This positive experience after the adjustment has helped result in an estimated 35 million Americans annually receiving chiropractic care.*

Chiropractic adjustments restore proper relationship within the spinal joints due to misaligned vertebrae that can negatively affect the structural and functional state of the neurological system. The process from adjusting a negative functional state to a positive functional state may not always feel comfortable, but the goal is to always promote more well-being with each adjustment.

The following can help improve the outcome during and after your chiropractic adjustment:

  1. Qualify your chiropractor and their experience with performing chiropractic adjustments.
  2. During the consultation, initial exam and orientation to the practice, make sure you actively participate by providing the chiropractor with all current relevant information and history of your state of well-being.
  3. Be calm and relaxed during the chiropractic visit and adjustment. The less tension in your spinal tone, the more readily the adjustment can be facilitated.
  4. Listen to your chiropractor’s recommendations as they will create a plan to reduce the necessity of the chiropractic adjustment through consistent evaluations and checks for progress with care.

*Source: American Chiropractic Association: https://www.acatoday.org/News-Publications/Newsroom/Key-Facts 

Trent Scheidecker, DC


Trent Scheidecker, DC | ChiroWay of Woodbury | Owner & Chiropractor
Trent Scheidecker, DC frequently visited his chiropractor when he was in high school and knew the benefits he experienced were worth the time and investment to become a chiropractor. He wanted to help his community experience a higher quality of life through regular chiropractic care. In 2010 Trent founded ChiroWay in Woodbury and since that time has served over 3,000 clients. He has been named “Best of Woodbury” in Woodbury Magazine seven times. Trent has also mentored colleagues in practice and franchised ChiroWay in 2012. Today, there are 8 ChiroWay locations throughout Minnesota.